Anthony Rizzo hit two home runs for the Chicago Cubs, but it was not enough as the bullpen squandered a three-run lead to start the second half with a 5-4 loss to the Diamondbacks at Chase Field Friday night.
Edwin Jackson pitched into the sixth before allowing a solo home run to D-backs’ slugger Paul Goldschmidt. It was the first ball to sail through the air against Jackson during his outing.
Once again the Cubs’ bullpen folded as the pressure mounted. James Russell and Brian Schlitter (2-3, 3.16) both struggled in their short appearances as they were charged with the tying and go-ahead runs, respectively.
The Cubs (40-54) looked to be in control heading into the fifth as the starter Jackson was keeping the ball on the ground, allowing only two hits to that point. But while he continued to keep the ball on the ground, the Diamonbacks (41-56) started finding the holes with them.
The fifth inning saw the Diamonbacks reel off four straight singles, leading to two runs, cutting the Cubs lead to 3-2.
Rizzo followed in the sixth with his second of the game, a solo shot off of Euri De La Rosa (1-0), for his 22nd on the season and give the Cubs’ a two-run lead.
After Goldschmidt appeared to get hit in the hand with a pitch up and in, it was ruled it hit the knob of the bat instead. Goldschmidt seemed confused as well, actually asking the umpire if it hit him or the bat. It worked out in his favor as he hit his 17th home run of the season to right field to chase Jackson.
That would begin the carousel of Cubs pitchers in the inning. Russell threw one pitch, allowing a bunt single then Schlitter allowed back-to-back singles to Mark Trumbo and Martin Prado to load the bases. Gerardo Parra then flew out to Chris Coghlan, allowing Miguel Montero to score.
The Cubs had an opportunity in the ninth to tie, but came up short. After Justin Ruggiano walked, he attempted to steal second. the throw from Montero was high, and deflected off the glove of the shortstop, allowing Ruggiano to advance to third. But Ryan Sweeney popped out, and Addison Reed got Welington Castillo to strike out swinging to end the game.